Happy Cookah Profile - Allrecipes.com (10935437)

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Happy Cookah


Happy Cookah
 
Living In: South Jordan, Utah, USA
Member Since: Jan. 2008
Cooking Level: Expert
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About this Cook
Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies. I work full time as a technical IT writer, so I don't have a lot of discretionary time to cook. Yet, not a day goes by that I don't check out my favorite website, AllRecipes.com, for something new and exciting. The reviews on this website are a lifesaver sometimes, not to mention very entertaining.
My favorite things to cook
I'm always trying new recipes, but I enjoy making hearty soups from scratch in the winter, along with homemade breads. We use the grill all summer long, so I try lots of new side dishes, especially for all the veggies growing in the garden. Meat, I think, is forever a challenge in terms of achieving the perfect, most tender and delicious outcome. Thus I am always experimenting with the main dish.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Definitely the New England clam boil. Our family, born and raised in Massachusetts, also grew up on French Canadian recipes passed down from our ancestors in Quebec. They include tortiere (meat pie); meat and potato stuffing for the turkey; turnips and carrots cooked and mashed together, to name a few. Our home town, Fall River, has a strong Portuguese influence, and so many of our favorites (Emeril attests to this, since he's from the same city) include Portuguese chourice made into lots of interesting dishes.
My cooking triumphs
Roasts, sauces, gravies, delicious broths for soup, breads, desserts. "Almost" everything I make is from scratch -- that's the ultimate cooking experience for me. Experimenting with different wines with which to flavor food is great fun, and what I now use most is dry sherry -- I saute with it regularly.
My cooking tragedies
I've been cooking for many years, so of course I've had many tragedies. I wouldn't change those experiences for the world, because that's how we learn. That said, nothing frustrates me more than making pie crust. I'm getting better at it, but I've tearfully thrown away more dough. Ugh. Help !
Recipe Reviews 70 reviews
Chocolate Chip Orange Zucchini Bread
Great way to use up garden zucchini. I measured the 3 cups of "dry" zucchini, meaning I measured it AFTER I drained off all the juice. I used 1 tsp. vanilla, and 1 tsp. of orange extract, since I only had half of a fresh orange (I'm saving the 2 T. of juice for the glaze). I had to improvise and combine lemon and orange zest to total 1 T., but it's so delicious. I love freshly grated nutmeg and used 1 tsp. of it, along with the cinnamon. I never use all the sugar suggested when baking, and this recipe is good with just 1 C. sugar and 1/4 C. Splenda. Plenty sweet. And plenty good!

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Reviewed On: Aug. 2, 2014
Low-Carb Mashed Cauliflower
I've made Mock Mashed Potatoes many times and love it!! Thought I'd try this recipe for a change of pace, because we loved the idea of fresh garlic to spice it up. BEWARE! We ended up tossing the entire thing down the garbage disposal. Two cloves of garlic doesn't seem like much when you're sauteing it, but remember that you're eating it RAW in this recipe, and garlic cloves run the gamut in size. My husband couldn't even eat it, and he'll consume just about anything! My suggestion for this recipe would be to state the EXACT amount of fresh garlic to be added, such as 1/4 tsp. minced. Or even a bit of garlic granules or powder. I left the garlic cloves whole, since I added them to the Vita Mix blender with the other ingredients. As much as we enjoy garlic, I'd omit it next time, or use one very small clove. As a side note, the Vita Mix liquifies the cauliflower too much. I'd use a masher or an immersion blender. A bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese is an excellent addition.

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Reviewed On: May 2, 2014
Curried Coconut Chicken
Absolutely Delicious! But, I recommend that this recipe be very specific about using either unsweetened or sweetened coconut milk. Some reviewers are adamant about one or the other. So, if you question the 3 T. of sugar called for (some say it's too much), it largely depends on the type of coconut milk you use! I used unsweetened milk, and the 3 T. of sugar was perfect. Had I used sweetened coconut milk, I would have definitely decreased the sugar amount. This fact alone could make or break the recipe. Curry powders differ greatly, too, so just experiment! I use Madras Hot Curry Powder and increased the amount to 3 T. Cook Stephanie has great advice to "cook the curry powder in the oil until it's ready - usually about 5 minutes. Then add the onion & spice - cook until the onion is translucent. This will take about 10 minutes, but it makes all the difference in the world. Add more oil as the onion is cooking, if necessary." (I use coconut oil in this dish.) The only other change I made was with the tomatoes -- I used about 24 oz. of canned diced tomatoes (part of a large can), and added no tomato sauce. That way, we had more sauce. It all thickened up nicely after simmering for 60 to 90 minutes, which allowed us time to sip wine and visit. We were supposed to go out to dinner the night after serving this, but we decided to stay home instead, because we had leftover Curried Coconut Chicken in the fridge!

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Reviewed On: Apr. 21, 2014
 
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